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Oracle wants to put your data in its place.
The company is seeking to patent tech that improves data quality using AI. First, the dataset is "processed," meaning features of each row of data are extracted to create "metadata profiles" that represent them. Then a trained neural network predicts the category of the data based on those profiles.
Essentially, this system can take a "data dump," or a ton of unstructured or uncategorized data, and organize it into something actually usable. Oracle's method solves the problem of poor quality data, or data that generally lacks consistency and is difficult to store in a structured database, or gain any useful insight from.
Oracle noted that utilizing AI for this process saves time, effort and resources compared to employing a data scientist to do this task manually.
"Tangible benefits can be derived from data analytics, data management, and general data processing, however the quality of data can create variations in these benefits," Oracle said in the filing. "At times, poor data quality can limit or even negate the benefits of big data."
One of the most important places to have high-quality data is - you guessed it - in building AI models. (So yes, Oracle is basically using AI to help make more AI.)
Data is at the center of Oracle's business. With the company's main offerings being cloud services and database management, getting into the AI sector - particularly with the tech outlined in this patent - is the right call. As AI development continues at its rapid pace, the need for high-quality data and secure data storage will only grow more critical.
But the company has some stiff competition in the cloud services space, companies like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure remaining dominant. Given that all three of those companies are also quickly ramping up their AI efforts, Oracle's patent may be part of its plan to keep up.
"Oracle's definitely lagging from the AI standpoint," Cornelio Ash, director and equity analyst at William O'Neil. "It's not an aggressive leader. But at the same time, it does have a large footprint."
Though Oracle isn't the largest force in its sector, the company is still a tech behemoth, working with several Fortune 500 and Russell 2000 companies, said Ash. The company's client roster includes firms like Siemens, Dropbox, Cisco and Zoom. With the growing frenzy and demand around AI development, Oracle can't afford to fall back.
"It can't be complacent or it'll lose more market share, or even get completely behind," Ash added.